How the Enneagram has helped us in relationship and marriage

I’m sure you’ve seen it or heard of it by now, or maybe you’ve read one of the books.  The enneagram has been all over social media in the last few years, and who doesn’t love a personality test right?  Its been a few years since I’ve read the book, The Road Back to You but it’s one I keep revisiting over and over and has been highly impactful for both Kimberly and myself.  While I’ve always had a particular interest in knowing what makes people tick, I feel like this should be required reading for adulthood and for sure, all married people.

The ennagram is composed of 9 numbers, and each number may or may not have wings which are the numbers on either side of it.  For example, I am an enneagram 9 with a pretty big 1 wing and a sprinkle of an 8 wing.  So how do you figure out your magical number?  There are lots of tests on the internet if you google and when I initially learned about the enneagram I took a couple of them but to be very honest, I didn’t really know what number I was until I read the book and cannot recommend do so enough.  Not only will it give you a deeper understanding of yourself but you will learn about all of the numbers and be able to recognize them in the people you live life with.  What is unique about the enneagram is that it more or less focuses on our weaknesses which I admit doesn’t sound overly appealing but in truth it is so helpful and has given me a much deeper understanding of how I tick and why I struggle in certain ways.

I think Kimberly and I agree that the enneagram is a game changer for a marriage or dating relationship.  Firstly, having a deeper understanding of ourselves is wildly helpful for knowing our own needs in relationship and being able to give voice to those things, but also understanding why we react the way we do in conflict is a game changer.  Half the battle is just knowing right!? If you read the book you will also gain a much better understanding of the other person you are in a relationship with, even if they know nothing about the enneagram.  It almost feels like having a cheat sheet, haha!  It doesn’t make differences go away or the struggles that come with them but when you understand that certain behaviors are part of someone’s makeup and why, you can have a greater amount of grace and understanding and hopefully feel better equipped to work through them.  

The same ideas apply to our kids. It can be hard to figure out which enneagram number some kids are and of course this becomes easier as they grow and mature.  Kimberly and I have had fun noticing various traits in our own children and have some figured out and others not so much.  Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the enneagram is that each number expresses itself in different ways, while having the same motivation at its core.  My 1-ness shows up very differently from Kimberly’s 1-ness but we deeply understand each other and the struggles we share.  We both have an ennagram 4 child and we often giggle at how similar yet different they are!   We also both have at least one child who quite obviously has the same enneagram number as ourselves and we simultaneously feel bad for them because we understand their struggles on a deep level but also feel thankful that we know how to help them with their struggles. 

While it can be easy to focus on the weaknesses or downsides to each enneagram type, I have taken great delight in noting the positives of various types as I’ve observed them in my friends.  I have a friend who is a 3 (often known as the achiever) and she works hard to keep a good mental well being which means she is a healthy 3 and when I am around her, I feel energized and inspired to tackle various projects.  I have a friend who is a 2, known as the helper, and I have been the recipient of her lovely generosity and hospitality on many occasions.  If you have a 2 in your life then you know you always have a place of belonging. I have a friend who is a 4, known as the artist and she helps me see a side of life that I would possibly never notice otherwise.  She also has great empathy for the people in her life and always does such a good job of pouring into and speaking life into those of us lucky enough to know her.  I could go on and think of all of these fantastic aspects of my friends’ personalities and it just reminds me that life takes a village and its so much better living in community where we can serve each other with our various gifts and talents.     

There is so much that can be said about the enneagram and this is really just a very broad overview regarding how its been helpful but in the end we would encourage everyone to read the book linked at the start of the blog post.  Kimberly and I both feel like it has been beyond helpful in our lives and relationships and we would love for you to reap the benefits of understanding the enneagram as well!  I will link the book again below a well as an enneagram podcast that I listen to from time to time and have found helpful.  

Book:  The Road Back to You 

Podcast: The Enneagram Journey with Suzanne Stabile

Instagram account: @yourenneagramcoach 

Enneagram assessment:







How the Enneagram has helped us in relationship and marriage

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